How do I get started in filing my personal injury claim?

If you are starting a personal injury claim arising out of a motor vehicle accident, the best way to get started is to consult a personal injury lawyer. Whether you are doing this on your own or if your lawyer is helping you, generally you would want to do the following when filing a claim:

  1. Apply for accident benefits or no fault benefits within 30 days of your car accident. However you may file later if necessary.
  2. Give notice of your claim within 120 days of the car accident. Again failing to comply with this timeline would not be fatal to your claim.
  3. Order the police reports and witness statements and confirm who the owner and driver of the other car. A liability investigation may be necessary depending on the nature of the car accident.
  4. Obtain copies of your files from your doctors, insurance company, hospitals, therapists and health care providers.
  5. If you are claiming a loss of income you will need copies of your employment files and income tax returns.
  6. Order the appropriate medical legal reports and other reports from therapists, and accountants.
  7. Evaluate your claim. Determine if you need other evidence to support your claim. Decide if you have a personal injury claim for which you can receive compensation.
  8. Start the claim by preparing and issuing the statement of claim. This must be done before the expiration of the limitation period. In most cases this is two years from the date of the car accident.

If the claim is as a result of a slip and fall the steps are similar but you do not need to apply for accident benefits or no fault benefits. There is also no requirement to give notice within 120 days. However there may be a requirement that you give notice to the city within 7 days if the fall was as a result of ice and snow. Generally there would be no police report to order so you are more likely to need a liability investigation.